Thrash and Burn Review

On Saturday, I traversed up to Allentown to the Crocodile Rock in order to see some of the hottest bands in deathcore all on one stage. This is the third annual Thrash and Burn tour and the tour has already witnessed some big names acts appear on this tour (i.e. Born of Osiris, Asking Alexandria, Dying Fetus, and Devildriver just to names a few) carrying on the tradition we now have Winds of Plague headlining this current tour. Unfortunately, I promised you guys an interview with Winds of Plague and due to some last minute time changes and further complications, I was not able to meet up with the band for my interview. However, if you stay tuned, I’ll post a little photo diary of the great pictures I got sometime later today. So I’m very sorry, but theres no Winds of Plague interview. I won’t be mad if you leave now, but if you stay, I’ll review the whole day.

After a long drive I finally got to the venue, but had to hassle some of the people at the front desk because my name didn’t appear on the guest/ photo list and soI had to get that sorted out. Luckily that was taken care of with plenty of time for me to see some really shitty bands perform on the main stage before the show really got started. I didn’t catch the names because they weren’t worth the trouble of memorizing the names. So we’ll skip that and go directly to the official opening band for this tour,Volumes. I saw Volumes in late September when their album “Via” dropped and they put on a great show. Unfortunately, this show was not as good as when I saw them the last time, but that is only because the band was missing on of their two singers (he was on a plane somewhere to get back surgery), so that being said, the band were good, but it was still lacking overall and it wasn’t their fault so you can’t really blame them. I think their one singer did a great job actually of taking on both singing roles. Seriously, though I highly recommend checking this band out if you’re into Born of Osiris, After the Burial, or Veil of Maya.

Following Volumes we have Like Moths to Flames. If you read my preview/review of their cd, I mentioned that the band are decent, but it’ll be their live show that sways me and i’ll tell you, they swayed me. They had a really strong, tight groove going and sonically, the band sounded great which says a lot because the sound system at the Croc Rock sucks. The new songs sounded really great live and I can definitely see this band being a possibility for a tour like the All Stars tour (same with Volumes). Following LMTF we have In the Midst of Lions who were slightly disappointing. I thought vocally, their singer was really weak and wasn’t hitting the really deep growls that you hear on record. I also thought that the singer was just trying to be Matty Montgomery from For Today. I understand that In the Midst of Lions are religious and everything, but after one of their songs, the singer whipped out a quick speech about god and everything and it sounded exactly like a little stage rap i heard at a For Today show. Even when you hear this band one the record, before they were really deathcore, but now that For Today are huge, this band are changing slightly to sound more like For Today. Just be yourselves guys.

Now this next band have never failed in my opinion. I’ve seen Upon a Burning Body three times and every time they bring it harder than any band on the bill. Now, because here were so many bands on this bill, the show started early in the afternoon and every band only really got 30 minutes of play time and it seemed that Upon A Burning Body’s set was over as quickly as it began. Nevertheless there wasn’t a dull second during the show. No news on the new record and they didn’t play any new songs, which is slightly odd, but i’m sure the album will be great and the band will only get bigger. I honestly think that this band are capable of headlining shows like this easily just playing songs of their one record and I think they could do it for years and you’d never get tired of the show.

The next band was For the Fallen Dreams and i missed a good chunk of their show because I was out trying to figure out the whole Winds of Plague interview drama, but the parts that I heard were good. Same thing goes for how I feel about LMTF really. I think this band could easily be on the bill for All Stars 2012 o something like that. They’re only getting bigger and they’re most recent album is a really strong record.

Our next band up was just bad…As Blood Runs Black…where to begin with this band. First off they wasted half of their set trying to fix something on the drumset and their drummer was just getting frustrated and kicking his drums and acting like a crybaby so some of the other band members and crew members were trying to fix it. The bass player was also hanging out on the side trying to rush the sound guy while he was doing soundcheck because the band wasted half their set time dealing with their pouty drummer. So not only is their drummer a dick, but so is their bass player apparently. Once the band got started, everything just fell apart really. First off they band sounded nothing really like on the record. I’ll give them to BOTD and blame the sound system of the venue because it is a half assed system. During the show though, you could tell there was some sort of power struggle, featuring the singer, lead guitar player (who was a real shredder by the way) and the bass player. The singer and guitar player had a fair amount of shining in the limelight and sharing that, but the bass player was just trying to wedge himself every where the singer was and get as much attention as the singer. He made the band look really sloppy and mediocre and the band are better than that. The drummer…being the cry baby that he is made no attempt of hiding his mistakes, and throughout the entire show was just shaking his head and looking pissed off because of his mistakes….he must make a lot of mistakes. He’s also really only capable of doing blast beats and double bass runs…for all those drummers out there, you’ll know what i mean when I say that he was “one of those drummers”. It was all just unprofessional for lack of a better word.

Following that we have Chelsea Grin. I can’t fucking stand this band and everybody’s getting their dicks wet for them and Asking Alexandria and I can’t even begin to describe why i can’t stand them so much (i’ll make a separate post of just ranting on about bands I hate). However, I will be kind and say that Chelsea Grin had the best stage show of the night. The lighting rig at the Croc Rock is just as elementary as their sound set up and so Chelsea Grin were smart and brought their own red, blues and strobes. When the band played it was truly just a visual assault. It made the band look much cooler than they are, but they’re singer…I swear he is just making up babble and screaming it into the mic for 40 minutes…and they get to be second headliners!? They were close to the bottom of the bill of the All Stars Tour and Bamboozle (Upon a Burning Body went AFTER Chelsea Grin at Bamboozle), put out a shitty record to support their shitty live performances and they get to be second headliners. I love the logic there.

Finally, we have Winds of Plague who, like Upon a Burning Body, never fail in my opinion. Instead of a good light show though, the band brought smoke machines and had them running throughout the show, so it made it hard to get some good pics, but I digress. My only real complaint was that the band got virtually the same amount of time as every other band. They have enough music to easily do an hour show seeing as they’re HEADLINING but they only played for about 40minutes making the show end at 10. If you saw the bands warped tour performances, the setlist of songs was the same just  scrambled a little. They even brought out the singer of Volumes (the one not getting back surgery) to come out and help sing the final song (“Reloaded”). Not the best show I’ve seen by them, but it was still a great show all in all.

So yeah, a bit divided, but the show had many high points despite its many low points. As some parting advice, please try and stay away from the Crocodile Rock. The venue is very poorly run, the sound system is sub par and the lights are no better. You’re better off seeing the same show somewhere else like the Starland Ballroom or the Trocadero. Stay tuned and stay posted.

Luke Helker

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